NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For the week ended Aug. 26, the S&P 500 Insurance Index gained 2.9%, while the KBW Insurance Index was up 3.4%. In comparison, the broader S&P 500 Index rose 4.7%. Meanwhile, at close yesterday, the S&P 500 Insurance Index ended 4.8% higher, while KBW Insurance Index moved up 5.7%. The S&P 500 rose 2.8%.Insurance stocks are on a relief rally as estimates that show Hurricane Irene's cost to insurers was less than expected. Catastrophe modelers expected insurers to pay almost $14 billion towards Irene's damages. However, a ballpark estimate is loss of only $2.6 billion. Industry analysts say that insurers have not been able to raise rates during the past three years amid strong competition and readily available supply. Now, even a small storm could be the catalyst to trigger across-the-board premium increases. Analysts believe that this latest storm could lead to significant firming in the insurance industry, after years of weakness.
8 Insurance Stocks Flying High
Check Out Our Best Services for Investors
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Model portfolio
- Stocks trading below $10
- Intraday trade alerts
More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.